Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Damage to archaeological sites: metal detectors in the UK

Heritage Action is an organisation in the UK raising awareness of the damage to archaeological sites:

Heritage Action is a rallying point for anyone who feels that society is deaf to the threats to heritage places, especially the most threatened of all, our most ancient sites.

We want to help individual voices to be heard loud and clear by the public, the media and the authorities.

We believe that this generation holds its heritage in trust for future generations and we should never break this trust. From this comes our single purpose — to build a powerful voice for action on all threatened heritage places.

Our most ancient sites are often most at risk, particularly prehistoric ones, and we specialise in these. However, we also give consideration to later sites if there are special circumstances, especially when there is a prehistoric 'background'.

We aim to promote an appreciation of the value of these places, highlight threats to them, and encourage the public to become involved in responsible but vigorous action to preserve them.

Each individual threat needs publicity and, if necessary, pressure on site owners, commercial interests, local authorities, and heritage bodies.

In particular the group publishes an "Artefact Erosion Counter"

A running total of the number of recordable archaeological artefacts removed from the fields of England and Wales by metal detectorists (the great majority without being reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme).

Today:
785

This year:
251,057

Since the start of the Portable Antiquities Scheme:
3,176,272

Overall Total since 1975:
10,048,065

Such figures, though hard to estimate, provide a counter-balance to claims made by some coin collectors that the Portable Antiquities Scheme has reduced damage to archaeological sites in the UK.

2 comments:

David Gill said...

The counter is now up to 10,108,200.

Brian Mattick said...

And today 11,276,782.

And so on....

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